Teaching Assistants ICT Training

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We are using this page to collect ideas for planning a fairly basic training course in ICT for UK primary school teaching assistants. Please feel free to contribute.I've moved the ideas into themes to make it a bit clearer. Some of these ideas have been collected from my blog Acting to Improve, the Redbridge ICT Consultant Blog and via a discussion in the HLTA Forum. Other ideas have been added by usefulwiki users.

This is starting to look like far too much for a basic one day course. However, I think it could be worked up into a really good resource for working with teaching assistants.

Update - Condensed version NCFE2 TA ICT Workshop


Using ICT with Children

  • The separate roles of Discrete and cross-curricular ICT
  • Supporting from the side - how not to do it for them!

Using the Computer

The Basics

  • File saving and sharing - an introduction.
  • How to create a new folder
  • The difference between files and folders,
  • The difference betweeen saving locally (C:) and on a network
  • Saving versions,
  • Sensible naming of .docs
  • How to delete files
  • Keyboard shortcuts

Basic Troubleshooting

  • Check the in control panel of the laptop when the sound doesn't work. It's often just defaulted to 'mute'.
  • Simple guide to what plugs in where. (We had a TA trying to plug the microphone into the headphone socket)
  • Use of theft proof cables
  • People need to be reminded some computers and some screens have a volume dial.
  • What to do if the printer fails to print,often it is just a simple job of freeing a paper jam.
  • If children need to log on check that the number lock is on and the caps lock is off. Also check for spaces in the username (before or after the name)
  • If a document fails to print, the child may have chosen the wrong printer for that machine.

Displays, Labels and Worksheets

  • How to insert a picture/clipart into a word document and play with it. eg to make worksheets by making borders, background image (watermark).
  • How to group and un-group images on word. ie by pressing shift and clicking each image then going to 'draw' bottom left of document and clicking group. (Am I getting away from basic here? Maybe a bit but good stuff!)
  • Create banners for displays
  • Using http://www.blockposters.com/default.aspx to create giant posters
  • Changing the font size by typing in the number you want. So many people don't know this. They think they are restricted to 72 but you can type in 200 and press enter to create massive text. Really useful for displays
  • How to print drawer or tray labels
  • Training other TAs to do these things

More Windows Tips

  • Using the Prt Scrn button on your keyboard to take a copy of your screen. Open up 'Paint' and paste then edit if required and save as a jpg file.
  • How to select text or copy graphics from a PDF file. This can be so useful.
  • How to write a letter or memo in Word
  • The undo facility - how to use it when you mess something up.

Software used in School

  • A basic guide to software in common use in school
  • Using Powerpoint
  • Using Excel including generating graphs.

The Internet


  • Search techniques
  • Safe search engines
  • Researching web sites for teachers and TAs to use in their lesson
  • Assessing reliability of sites and information

Safe use of the internet

  • Promoting good habits
  • Knowledge of your own school's Internet access policy

Saving Links, Files and Images

  • How to save a site in favourites and organise
  • How to save images or download files from the internet (am thinking Sparklebox or HLTAblog)
  • Social bookmarking sites


  • Introduction to using e-mail in school
  • Use of web based e-mail systems
  • How to send very large files via email (http://www.senduit.com or equivalent)

Using the Internet for their own CPD

  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Wiki


The scanner

  • Scanning texts to make big books for IWB
  • Scanning children's work to use on IWB
  • Scanning work for use in other application (like PhotoStory or PowerPoint)

Flash or Pen drive

  • Where to plug it in
  • Transfer files to hard drive.
  • How to save files to a flash drive

Roamers and Beebots

  • How to use them
  • Activities designed for them to use.

Digital Camera

  • How to use a digital camera
  • How to print from a digital camera
  • Using the wizard in xp for printing from camera
  • Setting photo folder as screen saver in XP
  • Digital blue cameras.

Interactive White Board

  • Connecting a laptop to the whiteboard/internet/portable projector (so many wires )
  • How to use the blue fn key to make the f keys work... so that people can switch their computer to white board...
  • Calibrating white boards. This is a simple but really helpful classroom skill!
  • Notebook software for IWB basic instruction
  • Using the IWB to teach

Microphones and Voice Recorders

  • How to use Sound Recorder to record voices and sounds
  • How to use Audacity to record and edit voices and sounds
  • How to use a handheld voice recorder
  • How to transfer audio from a handheld device to a PC

ICT and Special Needs

  • Using relevant software to support a child with special needs
  • Accessibility options in XP
  • Use of tools like Alphasmarts
  • Where to find help online (selection of good sites for information & resources)

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